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El Paso Tries To Oust District Attorney, Alleging Misconduct

El Paso County, Tx., is seeking to remove Yvonne Rosales, its elected district attorney, alleging that her incompetence and misconduct has stalled prosecution of the 2019 Walmart mass shooting and caused hundreds of criminal cases to be dropped due to inaction, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rosales, a Democrat elected in 2020, faces a hearing next month over whether she should be suspended before a trial next year that could lead to her ouster.. Her office has been accused of seeking the death penalty against a murder defendant to delay his trial and being involved in manipulating and impersonating family members of a Walmart victim. “It is unclear who is running the office,” El Paso County Attorney Jo Anne Bernal, an elected Democrat, wrote in an amended petition for removal.

Rosales has characterized the allegations against her as the work of “a cabal of power brokers and politicians” who supported her election opponent. The 2019 Walmart shooting is one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. Patrick Crusius is accused of traveling to the city to target Latinos in the attack, which killed 23. He also faces federal charges. Separately, inaction by Rosales has forced courts to release more than 320 people arrested for crimes including violent felonies, Bernal charges. Rosales’ office allegedly failed to file indictments against hundreds of defendants released on bond, leading to case dismissals and the loss of bond provisions meant to protect victims. Rosales says she has discretion over such cases. “It is the duty of a District Attorney to see that justice is done, not to rubber stamp every act of a police officer or Grand Jury,” she said.

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